November 24, 2020

How to Do Voice-Overs – A Step By Step Guide

One of the main aspects that make a video more engaging is the combination of audio and video. An audio track that perfectly syncs with the video goes on to enhance the appeal of the video. It is especially true for explainer videos, where the audio has a role to play in bringing out the video content in a more articulate manner.

This process of recording a voice and syncing it with the video track to describe, explain, or provide additional context to the content is known as a voice-over. While there may be people who think the audio element is not as important as video, some understand that most audiences are known to leave a video midway if the audio quality & content are less than desired. Hence, it becomes vital for you to remain top-notch with your voice-over and sound quality. For best quality, use this tool for adding audio to your video. Both allow the viewing audience to understand the content of the video with additional context.

Making videos with a narrative has become extremely easy with the availability of audio to video converters. All you would be required to do is upload audio files and select a video template. The mixing would be done by the software, giving you the final video output.

Before we enlist the process, we must have the following pieces of equipment and accessories that go into creating a good voice over. This includes microphones, accessories, computers, software, headphones, and speakers.

This write-up seeks to tell readers how to go about doing voice over. Our effort here is to go in a step-by-step fashion to explain the entire process.

Step 1: Find a Quiet Place

Most of you must be familiar with recording studios, and professional voice-over artists tend to have a room with sound-absorbing walls. Fortunately, you do not have to invest that kind of resource to create a quiet space. The most crucial aspect is to find a room with no distracting voices because the decent microphones tend to pick on the faintest of sounds, which make a presence in the final recording.

Remain conscious about sounds from the heating and cooling systems. The ideal thing to do is to shut down those systems during the time of recording. Also, if the room has a window, it is good to block out the sounds emanating from birds chirping, dogs barking, or traffic in the vicinity. These can show up in the final recording if care is not taken.

Step 2: Choose a Microphone and Set up the Equipment

When it comes to choosing a microphone, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars. You can settle for an excellent USB microphone priced at $50 – $100. It is a good investment for someone doing a lot of voice overwork.

Set up the mic stand and attach the microphone to it. Plug-in the microphone directly into the computer in case of a USB microphone, else connect the microphone to the audio interface using an XLR cable and then connect it to the computer.

Step 3: Write a Script

A good script will contain word-to-word details for everything to be covered by the voice over. Put the time and effort into developing a script that covers everything without going off track. It is desirable to rehearse and read the entire script aloud a few times to get the hang of it.

Step 4: Open the Audio Software or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

This is application software used for recording, editing, and producing audio files. Open the DAW, create a new track, and start recording. Speak into the microphone and stay within the stipulated levels as recommended by the software. Do a test recording to check if background sounds are making a presence. If yes, try remedying those sounds.

Step 5: Adjust the Microphone Placement

In order for you to get a good sound, the distance between the microphone and your mouth is a determining factor. It is a case of experimenting at varying distances until you get a good sound quality. Too close and you risk recording sounds associated with your mouth and air puffs; too far and you may sound too feeble. Ideally, the distance is about 6-8 inches away from the mouth and below the chin.

Step 6: Make Sure to Communicate and Visualize your Performance

You do not want your recording to be abruptly interrupted by someone walking-in midway and disturbing the entire recording. Communicate about your recording beforehand to ensure everyone is aware of your on-going recording session.

You do not want to sound boring to the audience. Take special care to visualize the entire performance before the actual recording mentally. Suppose, if you are giving voice to a fictional character, it might serve you well if you can be mindful about the character the whole time, even before going in for the recording.

Step 7: Start with the Actual Recording

Now you are ready to record the voice over. Keep these pointers in mind during the recording. First, you need to speak slowly and clearly and have clarity with each word. Second, you need to sound pleasant without coming out as overexcited or overjoyed. Third, do not stop when you mess up; instead, go back and continue with the same section. Fourth, if you are struggling with the script and you find it hard to keep going, it can be a good idea to pause the recording and take a break. You could say something like, “my bad, going back to the beginning of this section.”

Step 8: Begin the Editing Work

Even if you have not made any mistakes, there would be parts in the recording which require to be cut from the final recording. This can include parts like undesired long pauses, which should not make it into the final recording. The aim here is to be as consistent as possible to make the recording as professional as possible.

Step 9: Utilize a Compressor for Consistency

This tool allows you to compress the loudest part of your recording and makes it consistent with the rest of the recording. This enables you to raise the recording’s overall volume without parts of the audio ‘peaking’ intermittently every now and then.

Step 10: Export the Recording & Sync with Video

Now you are ready to export the recording into a normal audio file with all effects and edits. It is advised to stick with the .wav format and check all the audio settings to carry out the process. Lastly, you would export the audio file into your video editing software by creating a new track and syncing your video with it.


A voice-over involves a significant amount of preparation, as you must have seen. By following the above steps, anyone with the right equipment can create a voice-over from the comfort of their home. An alternative to adding narrative to video is to add music to video. Above all, the crux of a voice-over makes the video as engaging as possible. Following the above steps, you can achieve that.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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